Does someone have some experience or knowledge about telecommuting? I would like to hear from you about it, specially in the IT field. Some people in my company are making a study in this field, and I'm trying to get involved.
what is it that you do?
my sister telecommuted part time for a few years.
here in the states in seems to be fairly restricted to supervisory/management roles and data processing.
the rule seems to be that if your work is easily quantified, management can make an easy presentation of the value added to the company, and it makes their jobs easier. win, win.
the down side seems to be if you live in a high cost of living area, telecommuting makes it easy to move your job to an area with a lower cost of living, be that south dakota or india. i think it's great, but that's not a majority opinion among my union coworkers...
i've read about your cool housing situation. can you get any kind of high speed internet at your place? i guess i always assumed you were on something mobile for your posting.
my friends who are system admins will sometimes troubleshoot/work from home, but that can be slower than physically driving thru traffic on a dial up connection...
i might be more helpful if i knew more about your work.
Thanks for the response!
I do used to use a hacked mobile for modem, but now I have access to fast internet through wireless. Although currently I'm paying the least expensive plan, I could change to a better one, that would not be a major problem.
I work at a bank branch, but I used to be from IT. I switched careers to be able to live in a smaller city. Now there are some guys in the company, from the IT area, that are making a study about telecommuting. I could do almost everything inside IT, but I would prefer programming or linux customization/maintenance/administration. I'm talking to the guys via email now. Some of them told me they are facing some challenges in the project and I told I'm willing to help if I can. Let's see what the challenges are. Meanwhile, I thought I could ask you about your experiences to start learning something about it. I also just discovered that the law has changed here some days ago and now telecommuting is officially recognized. Maybe it will make things easier. If it ever is implemented within the company, I could even work more years, no problem... At least it seems to me now.
Well, after hearing the experience from some programming guys here on the forums, maybe I prefer sysadmin to pure programming...
I don't know if any of this will apply since I'm not in IT nor in Brazil, however...
I'm a glorified telecommuter since I really have only one client. It's only a slight exaggeration to say working from home changed my life for the better. It suits me perfectly to be given a project with a deadline and then left alone until I'm done. Nobody hovering around me is priceless. I can take a 4 hour lunch. I don't commute. My work clothes for tomorrow are the ones I wore yesterday. I work less overall (714 hours) and I make more (2.75x per hour more than my last job) because I'm faster without meetings and they can pay more since I'm responsible for my overhead.
Which segues into the downsides. I have to keep my finances separate for tax reasons, I paid for my healthcare before getting married, I have to buy and pay for all my equipment and software (overhead), I owe ungodly taxes every 3 months, and if the crap hits the fan...it gets flung in my face exclusively. If my hard drive explodes it doesn't matter, I have to deliver work, if my lung explodes, it doesn't matter I have to deliver work, if I can't figure out how to solve a problem, I can't go next door and ask some nerd to help me. I have 100% responsibility.
Working from home also creates boundary issues. You must be as militant about your time as you are about finances. Since you work from home and the computer is right next to you...there is always an excuse to sit down and work. You work 7 days a week. There is no such thing as a weekend. I lose track of days. If my wife leaves me alone for 15 minutes, I'm in Photoshop tweaking something. I may have worked only 714 hours this year, but I spent 2000+ in front of this cursed screen. Doing who knows what. Reading ERE. Netflix. Playing games. Always telling myself I need to be close to this beast in case they IM me or email me with work. So I'm still chained to my desk like an office worker...I just have a really nice cell and no prison guards.
I say go for it. You're disciplined and regimented which is what breaks a lot of people.
I love the idea of telecommuting. I think the most insane thing I do every day is disconnect my laptop from my home network, fire up the car, and sit in a cube all day while 99% of my communication is via email or IM. There's a huge green opportunity if telecommuting was pursued more. It's also a nice perk companies can give employees that cost them nothing.
I've found most companies will let IT workers telecommute a few days/month. If there are special circumstances, you can get management approval to telecommute full-time. When I work from home, they are my most productive days and feel refreshed at the end of the day. My home office has windows too!
Most full-time telecommuters are expected to visit the office occasionally for face-time.
There's also IT shops that are so old school that they forbid telecommuting all together.
The only downside I can see is that home energy costs go up, possibly washing out savings gained from not driving.
I telecommute full time and love it. I 'prepped' my office for this by working from home one then two days a week first. I was very careful not to have any screw-ups, make sure my technology was all in place and reliable, never missed a forwarded phone call, answered all emails ASAP, etc. This might be one way to start.
When MrKensington got an opportunity on the other side of the country, I began telecommuting full time. I have the exact same job duties, pay and benefits; due to the time change, my hours shifted slightly. If/when we move back, I'd be expected in the office 3 days/week. Still not bad. (I am one of those weirdos who loves their job 99% of the time.)
One more note on this subject: I know someone who is a government lawyer. He is allowed to work full time from his home because he has a medical condition: FARTING.
I SWEAR this is true. I have been in this person's proximity and it was A REAL PROBLEM.
He has some sort of serious intestinal issue and farts a massive amount. For the comfort of himself and others, he works from home.
MrsKensington, thanks for the response. I may be asking some more questions to you in the future if you don't care. And what a medical condition this guy haves... I swear I could start and stop that condition at will at myself, only by controlling the food... Well, let's not have this kind of silly idea :) Very funny.
JasonR, it seems as so good a thing that, in the back of my head, I knew that it must be some downsides to it. Your answer is very enlightning. The good thing on my side is that I probably can separate things well enough. Could even build a small room here only for work. I also don't care to work longer hours focused if I can organize my time as I want, and can have some hours in the day for myself for other interests, like my jiu jitsu training, and growing food. It also seems that they are thinking about paying for the equipment and giving some money for electrical bill costs, and it will still be cheaper to them. Also, I will get a raise from my present situation that would be around 80% more than my current wage (not because of telecommuting, but because of switching to IT inside this company). I would work 8 hours a day instead of the current 6 hours. But, as I would not commute, it would end up the same, but better because it would be from home.
I also thought about the reliability aspect. I would like so much to be in such a situation that I sure would have at least two internet connections, one or two connected cellphones, and some one or two emergency plans, like going to a cybercafe in this city, in one of the nearby cities, or even to some friend's house when absolutetly needed. The extra costs would be nothing in face of the extra money.
But, it still only a study now. I could maybe be one of the firsts to do the thing, in 2012 I will know for sure if it will happen or not. It would be such a good a thing that I'm having doubts it will ever come true.
I also telecommute fulltime. The team I am on is all remote and spread across several timezones. We have set hours we are all online in a chat room and do meetings over skype. We meet up in person about 4 times a year. It probably saves our company a bundle to not have to lease office space for all of us as well as making it easier to hire talent wherever they live instead of where the office happens to be located. I'm a programmer. For a while my husband was also telecommuting. He did tech support, which meant he answered calls over a voip connection and also had to be in a chat room while working. His job required him to go into the office once a week for meetings. If you're going to telecommute a fixed high speed connection would seem like a requirement to me, but I suppose it could depend on the nature of your job. I have worked over a spotty satellite internet connection and it was miserable.
I've telecommuted for 4 years, I took over my partners job. He did it for 9 years. It's a boring data entry job but the benefits of working from home/any where are great. Dead end job with not much of a future but it's paid the bills.
I never go to the main office (it's a 9 hour time zone away, in Europe).
WOW, that's exciting to know that! I assumed I would still need to travel sometimes, but if not, it would be even better.
Because of the earthquakes and the loss of the CBD (ie office space), as well as a lot of unsafe buildings, people needing to make their houses safe and deal with ongoing aftershocks, people wanting to be close to family, and schools were closed for months....
Lots of people are telecommuting here.
Ie working from home
I did it for a few hours a week, for a short time to help out. Had a meeting once a week.
I stopped doing it because the company didn't have good processes, and you'd be working on something, only to find they had changed their mind and wanted you to work on something else after you had done a lot of the work.
You can't pay me enough to waste my time.
I guess it depends on the company and the role.
Some people are booking offices, ie spend 3 days of the week at home, two in a shared office, some are booking the hours in the office on a booking sheet.
Some people are setting up mobile network equipment, so if their building is lost, its safe and can be moved.
We're in a constantly changing environment, so we all adapt.
We've been in this changing environment for 16 months, and for those who have stayed, the psyche re the work environment has completely changed. A few years ago bosses were insisting we be in the office 9-5, in case we were needed.
I guess the fact that nearly everyone who died or was injured was in an office building is quite shocking when you think about it.
I have some experience telecommuting (to my own office at least 2 days a week now) as an employer (a good experience for all) and with bank IT systems. Some points that might help you:
Reliability: You already have a good grasp of this. Redundancy and backup is important, even for things like electricity (battery or generator) and anything else that’s critical. I like that you have emergency plans (friends, cafe, etc.) I do as well, though its best to test them out in advance.
Vendor Models: Recent IT vendor contracts can tell you a lot about what has gone wrong in the past, such as not enough support (minimum personnel to avoid long queues) or abuse of on-site calls. I’ve seen arrangements where onsite visits were limited to 2 days per month, half day minimum, and only a few designated persons could request the visit.
Compatibility: Most IT people have their own favorite hardware, software, tools and hacks. Without supervision, these can become a problem in that they are not compatible with the client’s systems. I don’t mind people using them, but the cost of failure has to be borne by the one using the non-standard tool.
Productivity Benefit: Some employers fear that telecommuting will reduce performance (others just like to see employees suffer for their money). I’ve found the opposite to be true, in that when you eliminate politics, faking, brown nosing, face time, credit grabbing and blame placing, performance stands on its own. Like the old saying, when the tide goes out you can see who’s been swimming naked :)
Security: This is the big one for the banks. It means not only secure connections, encryption, no local storage, etc. but also responsible treatment of equipment and data by the employees. Any lapse in confidence can kill a telecommuting experiment. Even something like leaving a station unattended and having a child come along and chat up the VP. No one except Mom and Dad will think its cute or harmless.
If I can manage to just ssh there and do the job, it would reduce my hardware and software requirements to a minimum. On the other side, if I could have local storage and syncronize it from time to time, it would be much more flexible and less dependent on a reliable connection. Being a bank, you're probably right that they will not want any kind of local storage. Thanks for the employer perspective!
As far as redundancy, the most cost effective backup office is a coffee shop or library. :-)
DSL can be extremely reliable and power in most cities is very stable. The office network likely goes offline more than a home office.
If local storage would help you and the bank is reluctant, you might try selling it to them with a remote disk wipe program or other failsafe like http://www.whitecanyonenterprise.com/1-wipedrive-erase-hard-drive?gclid=CMaQ0ofMsa0CFUTc4Aodvz0FlQ
Very little is set in stone and things change; it's a matter of comfort with the security steps taken in the current environment.
Yes, and I use them myself as forms of backup, but it depends on the nature of the work. Under pressure, these free resources tend to break when you need them most, ala Murphy. I mention electricity because it is so variable from town to town. NYC has about the most stable electric anywhere, so its not a concern for me. And even if the office network goes down twice a day, the company is intolerant of home networks crashing once a month :)
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